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October 03, 2014

Megyn Kelly Confronts Jen Psaki With A Demonstrable Obama Lie

Obama has told two different tales on whether he sought to keep troops in Iraq. He, get this, gave different answers to the question depending on his current political PR needs at the time.

At the second debate with Romney in 2012, Obama disagreed with Romney's non-attack statement that "I think you and I both agreed" that we should have a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. Obama denied this, and said "What I wouldn't have done was leave 10,000 troops in Iraq."

Flash forward to early summer 2014, when IS was rampaging through Iraq and the question occurred to some, "Wouldn't it have been advisable to keep a guardian force of 10,000 troops in Iraq?"

Now, Obama's political interests are different -- now it's in his political interests to claim he wanted to leave a guardian force in Iraq all along.

And, get this, that's precisely what he claimed.

Not long ago, the President rushed to take credit for the departure of all US troops from Iraq. Now he says it wasn’t even his decision. One reporter asked, “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” The President replied,
Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me. That was a decision made by the Iraqi government. We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces.

In 2012, when withdrawing troops from Iraq was more popular, Obama claimed it was his decision, and that he had refused to consider leaving behind troops to keep Iraq on the good path it was on.

In 2014, when withdrawing troops from Iraq appeared to be a large mistake, Obama claimed that it was all Maliki's decision, and that he had offered to leave a "modest residual force" in Iraq, but had been refused.

Apparently, the new story is that Obama balked over the difference between 5,000 and 10,000 troops:

PSAKI: There were issues that we couldn't get through. There were issues that did not allow us to have the presence there that was broadly supported including by the president, otherwise secretary of state, the secretary of Defense wouldn't have supported it.

KELLY: Let me -- but this is the issue. Our general said, we need 24,000. The President said I'm not doing that. That's too many. They said the bare minimum is 10. He went back to Maliki with five. Maliki was politically exposed because a lot of the Iraqis were like the Americans, immunity. He needed it to be a substantial enough force that he could take the political risk. Five thousand wasn't going to do it. If we had offered 24,000, we would have gotten the immunity. And we would have had a status of forces agreement.

PSAKI: One, there's no way to know that. That's an accounting of fact -- or accounting of details that isn't consistent with many people who were there at the time. And regardless, even if we had had a presence there, had a residual force there, that would not have prevented and changed the facts that we've seen over the last eight months.

KELLY: That's not what Mr. Panetta says.

As Allah says (and I've been saying a lot):

Psaki, true to her "admit no error" PR ethos, is forced to simultaneously (a) praise a former administration appointee as a fine, honorable, credible public servant [Leon Panetta] and (b) insist that he and Kelly have their facts wrong, wrong, wrong.

This is not a government; this a corporate PR firm. The PR firm has a smaller child corporation that is tangentially in the business of government, and its chief stock in trade is failure.

The PR firm runs the show, and the corporate PR firm is here to tell you two things:

1, everything's fine, nothing to see here, errors were made but by the way errors weren't even made,


2, if you don't agree, there's something wrong with you. Perhaps racism.

BTW, Allah links this post-mortem on the Death of the Iraqi Democratic Republic which is well worth reading.

Under an agreement signed by George W. Bush, the U.S. was to withdraw forces from Iraq by the end of 2011. American military officials, fearful that Iraq might unravel without U.S. supervision, wanted to keep 20,000 to 25,000 troops in the country after that. Obama now claims that maintaining any residual force was impossible because Iraq's parliament would not give U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution. Given how unpopular America's military presence was among ordinary Iraqis, that may well be true. But we can't fully know because Obama--eager to tout a full withdrawal from Iraq in his reelection campaign--didn't push hard to keep troops in the country. As a former senior White House official told Peter Baker of The New York Times, "We really didn't want to be there and [Maliki] really didn't want us there.… [Y]ou had a president who was going to be running for re-election, and getting out of Iraq was going to be a big statement."

The shit started hitting the fan when a party led by a secular Shiite, and supported by Sunnis, defeated Maliki in 2011, but Maliki had a judge order him, the loser of the election, to continue on as PM anyway.

But we said nothing, did nothing. As Beinert says, "Let Maliki do whatever he wants so long as he keeps Iraq off the front page."

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posted by Ace at 01:31 PM

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